Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/15/2011 9:25 AM

Behind the scenes at Long Grove Confectionery

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Isaias Gil breaks a huge sheet of toffee with a spatula at Long Grove Confectionery's production facility in Buffalo Grove.

       Isaias Gil breaks a huge sheet of toffee with a spatula at Long Grove Confectionery's production facility in Buffalo Grove.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Chocolate covered pretzels are weighed at the Long Grove Confectionery.

       Chocolate covered pretzels are weighed at the Long Grove Confectionery.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Workers sort candy into bags inside the facility.

       Workers sort candy into bags inside the facility.
    photos by Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • A popcorn turtle is covered in chocolate as it moves along the conveyor belt.

       A popcorn turtle is covered in chocolate as it moves along the conveyor belt.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • One of the finished products, fudge cups topped with M&M candies, at the Long Grove Confectionery store in downtown Long Grove.

       One of the finished products, fudge cups topped with M&M candies, at the Long Grove Confectionery store in downtown Long Grove.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Video: A sweet peek behind the scenes

 
 

As you enter Long Grove Confectionery's production facility the aroma of warm chocolate fills the air. Conveyor belts move pretzels, popcorn, toffee and many other items to be covered in layers of chocolate.

You get the impression it would have made Willy Wonka proud.

The 85,000-square-foot factory in Buffalo Grove produces more than 1 million pounds of chocolate a year. All the molds are hand painted. The chocolate is hand packed and shipped throughout the country.

The company employs 75 full-time workers, about 120 employees over all.

"There's a lot of work that goes into a piece of chocolate before you get to eat it," says Ann Holterman, human resources manager. "Now is our busiest time of the year producing for Christmas, Hannukah and Halloween," Holterman says. The facility always works a season ahead.

Workers at the original location, in historic Long Grove, still hand dip the strawberries they're so famous for.

The chocolate itself comes from Blommer Chocolate Company in Chicago. Most of it comes in warm tanker trucks then it's pumped into the Buffalo Grove facility. "It smells real good here when they are unloading the trucks," Holterman says.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here